Bleak House Test | Mid-Book Test - Hard

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This test consists of 5 short answer questions, 10 short essay questions, and 1 (of 3) essay topics.

Short Answer Questions

1. Tom Jarndyce is ___________.

2. The woman who visited Jo was wearing ___________.

3. Phil Squod has had ___________.

4. What des Mrs. Snagsby suspect about Jo?

5. Guppy reveals that Nemo's last name, and perhaps Esther's, may be ___________.

Short Essay Questions

1. George has been a wayward son of Mrs. Rouncewell's and has only now reacquainted himself with his brother. What is the new connection between them?

2. How likely is it that Mr. Jarndyce would simply bow out and suggest Esther marry Woodcourt? Is this just common courtesy or this time in England?

3. What makes Lady Dedlock's past such a dreaded secret? Why do they go to such lengths to hide it and why is it threatening to have it revealed by Tulkinghorn?

4. How does Jo affect Dickens' story? Is he a sympathetic character?

5. Discuss the fact that Dickens' culprit turns out to be Mademoiselle Hortense. Why did he not choose a different character?

6. Why do you think Judy Smallweed is so cruel to her maid?

7. Why does Mr. Guppy so easily agree that his marriage proposal to Esther is now moot?

8. Mr. Turveydrop, the elder, is a most unusual person. What exactly is his mental condition? Is he a healthy person? Is Dickens being facetious?

9. What is the point of Esther, Ada, and Richard spending a night at the Jellybys'? What does Dickens accomplish with this break in their journey toward Bleak House?

10. What is the relationship between Esther Summerson and Miss Barbary?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Jarndyce v. Jarndyce comes to an end, just as Esther's adult life begins to take form. In its wake, the lawsuit has swept away many people, and the plot of the story has been cleaned up and tied up. What is Dickens trying to say, with Esther now being a happy woman, the misunderstandings smoothed out, Miss Flite's birds being free, and other semi-happy endings offered in Bleak House?

Essay Topic 2

There is much intrigue and undelivered communication that makes the plot of Bleak House complex and, at times, confusing. Examine in an essay all the ways in which Dickens portrays the dangers of mixed messages and miscommunication in Bleak House.

Essay Topic 3

A "beadle" was something of a cross between a police officer and church official. Research the role of beadles in England in the 1800s. How did society view them at that time? It is helpful to re-read Chapter 11 of Bleak House about the beadle's arrival at Krook House at the time of Nemo's death.

(see the answer keys)

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